Thousands of golf balls polluting the ocean floor at Pebble Beach

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Decades old golf balls have been found polluting the sea floor off the coast of California.

Nice pick up by Geoff Shackelford on the discovery by a couple of high school students that thousands of golf balls are polluting the ocean floor alongside the golf courses at Pebble Beach.

The students have been studying the effects of microplastics on marine life in Monterey Bay, and they have documented their efforts to remove the golf balls with an eye-opening video.

First reported at KSBW, Alex Weber and Jack Johnston have collected over 5000 golf balls from the sea floor, many resting there for decades.

In May the two started collecting the balls and estimate they have removed 5,000 so far. The golf balls are in various states of deterioration, some have been smoothed by the sea, others are starting to chip, and some of the older balls have spilled their rubber band like cores.

“The fish will mistake that and they will eat it,” Weber said.

“Many of these balls have a rubber band core that unravels into a ’spaghetti string’ mess in the ocean. Once this plastic string is consumed, the animals feel like they are full and stop eating, but they end up starving to death,” Weber and Johnston wrote.

The company that controls the golf courses have been notified and taken a particularly proactive stance to the news after being surprised by the extent of the problem. The Pebble Beach Company awarded the students a scholarship of $500 and vowed to do more to clean up the golf balls.